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Veterans focus of local observance May 20

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 5:46 am

Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman signs a proclamation recognizing May 20 as Veterans Awareness Day. Looking on is Staff Sgt. Van Booth, U.S. Army retired, who is working to increase awareness of veterans’ services locally.

Mayor Bill Newman has proclaimed Saturday, May 20, as Veterans Awareness Day in Lincoln County.

Also observed as Armed Forces Day nationally, the local observance invites citizens to join with Americans in efforts to improve veterans’ services and honor the commitments made to future generations of our country’s fighting men and women.

In addition, Veterans Awareness Day encourages awareness among veterans of services that can help them as they return to normal life, said Staff Sgt. Van Booth, a retired veteran who is traveling the state with Jason E. Jones, a retired member of the Tennessee National Guard.

The two men are traveling the state to foster awareness of veteran suicides and increase awareness of resources available to help veterans.

“Nationally, there are over 22 veterans a day who commit suicide,” Booth said. “And, according to the Veterans Administration, as much as 30 percent of Iraq and Afghani war veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Approximately 11 percent of veterans are homeless, but this number may be larger.

“These men and women have served our country with distinction and honor, and answered when America called,” stated Newman in the proclamation. “We are calling on Lincoln County and America to help take care of our veterans.”

Booth noted that the Lincoln County Veterans Service Office is a good resource when it comes to linking veterans with needed services and assistance. The Veterans Center in Huntsville, Ala., is another resource, he said, adding that he participates in center group discussions, events and services often.

Booth may be contacted at 585-403-1821 or at ssgvbooth76@yahoo.com, and Jones may  be contacted at jejcomedy@gmail.com.